The firm successfully obtained summary judgment for the Plaintiff in a gasoline supply contract dispute. The judgment was awarded against both the retailer and the individual guarantor of the contract. As requested by the firm, the Court left the issue of damages to be resolved at an inquest.
The Court found that the defendant breached the unambiguous terms of the contract which designated the Plaintiff as the exclusive provider of gasoline for a ten year period and required that the gas station be operated under a particular brand for the contract term. As the Defendants admittedly began purchasing gasoline products from another supplier and de-branded the station prior to the end of the ten year term, the Court found that there was a clear breach of the agreement.
In opposition to the motion, the Defendants failed to raise a triable issue of fact. The Court held that the contract was unambiguous in that it clearly provided that the Defendants were to purchase gasoline from the Plaintiff exclusively for a ten year period. Therefore, the Court rejected the Defendant’s interpretation of the contract in which they claimed the agreement provided the opportunity to terminate after a minimum volume of product was purchased from the Plaintiff. Through this decision, the Court reaffirmed the New York precedent holding that the interpretation of an unambiguous contract is an issue of law within the province of the court and meaning is to be determined on the basis of the writing alone, without resort to extrinsic evidence.